The Greater Lehigh Valley Chamber of Commerce is in negotiations to open a satellite office in Nazareth -- at the corner of S. Main Street where Ollie’s Travel Desk was once located.
of Nazareth's independent Chamber officials.
It is the Lehigh Valley Chamber’s goal to have feet on every Main Street in the Lehigh Valley, according to Frank Facchiano, executive vice president of member relations and operations.
Adding downtown Nazareth’s Main Street will bring the chamber one step closer to that goal. But it’s still unknown when the chamber will move in.
“We’re making sure we have all of our ducks in a row regarding the lease,” Facchiano explained.
According to Facchiano, the idea of opening a satellite location in Nazareth has been brought up in discussion over the last few years.
“We have some members -- I’m referring to businesses -- that have certainly expressed an interest and asked us to come and asked us to help with community efforts in Nazareth,” he said.
Marlyn Kissner, the executive vice president of regional chambers, added that the satellite office will:
- Bring the regional chamber closer to its Nazareth members
- Give it better access to the LeBEAM Chamber of Commerce, which serves Bath Borough and East Allen, Lehigh and Moore townships
“We have a lot of Nazareth members we take under our wing, so this move makes a lot of sense for us,” Kissner said, adding, “The bottom line is to be on every Main Street and serve our businesses and make them strong and keep them strong.”
Although Nazareth already has its own chamber, the , which is unaffiliated with the Greater Lehigh Valley Chamber of Commerce, Facchiano feels “that every community in the Lehigh Valley is best served by a regional chamber.”
The Greater Lehigh Valley Chamber of Commerce consists of 15 partnerships, or affiliate chambers. Some of the affiliates were independent chambers prior to joining the Greater Lehigh Valley Chamber of Commerce.
The Nazareth Area Chamber of Commerce, however, has been resistant to losing its independence.
According to Facchiano, the Greater Lehigh Valley Chamber of Commerce has been trying to link the two chambers for the last 10 years.
“I guess I get the premise of remaining independent,” he said. “But the offer is still open."
Facchiano added, “We’re focused on the businesses. I don’t expect any problems. We’re up there [in Nazareth] to do what we do. They can certainly do what they do. We can live and let live.”
Facchiano, however, believes the regional chamber can offer “a much broader amount of products and services and resources for [the Nazareth] community.”